Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Aspect Of The Witcher That Has Fans Split Down The Middle

"The Witcher" is Netflix's high fantasy series based on Andrzej Sapkowski's novels of the same name. Starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, the production features all kinds of mythical monsters such as vampires, the Leshy (imagine an evil Groot), and a Basilisk (with distinctly more legs than "Harry Potter" led audiences to believe). All of these creatures have something in common — they don't actually exist. 

Shocker, right? For them to appear on screen, TV magic has to be conjured up. Now, there are a number of ways that this can be accomplished, ranging from fancy puppetry to fake teeth found at the nearest Spirit of Halloween (they upped their game recently, no hate) to digital effects, and the team behind "The Witcher" uses everything that's available to them. 

As you can imagine, fans of the series have taken to Reddit to give their thoughts on whether or not "The Witcher" has succeeded in bringing its bestiary to life. While some fans think the mix of practical and CGI effects has worked well, others have some notes. 

Fans are torn over practical effects and CGI usage

In a subreddit dedicated to "The Witcher," u/KieranOfRivia posted a picture set, along with the caption: "the prosthetic makeup work in the show is stunning." The pictures highlight characters like Torque (Amit Shah), Duny (Bart Edwards), and Nivellen (Kristofer Hivju) whose looks appear to be created, in part, using practical effects. Of these characters, Nivellen was notably featured in the marketing for Season 2. There's even a YouTube video from Netflix that chronicles the process of Hivju working with the creative to transform into the monster. In Nivellen's case, the character was created with a blend of costume and CGI.

While u/KieranOfRivia was impressed with the effects, other users were a bit more skeptical. Commenter u/dontplaydead27 wrote, "When I watched the Nivellen clip the first time, the CG tusks stood out like a sore thumb to me." And u/itsnoturday responded, "I wish they would just leave it alone after the practical work. The 'enhancements' just make it look like cgi."

These Redditors are touching on a larger debate: Should modern productions rely more on practical effects or CGI? It does seem that there has been a bit of pushback against heavy CGI usage in recent years, which isn't surprising considering how many CGI moments have aged terribly. It's interesting to watch such dialogue unfold because the types of movies that succeed at the box office right now — think of just about any Marvel Cinematic Universe flick — aren't productions that could be wholly completed without CGI. Of course, even those who are critical of CGI likely don't believe it should be unilaterally removed from the screen. It's a tool that fulfills a purpose and is criticized when that purpose overlaps with the purpose of other tools. 

In fairness to "The Witcher," it seems that CGI is primarily used where practical effects simply can't carry the weight.